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By Alfred W. McCoy

At the sunrise of the 20 th century, the U.S. military rapidly occupied Manila after which plunged right into a decade-long pacification crusade with outstanding parallels to today’s warfare in Iraq. Armed with state-of-the-art know-how from America’s first info revolution, the U.S. colonial regime created the main sleek police and intelligence devices wherever lower than the yankee flag. In Policing America’s Empire Alfred W. McCoy indicates how this imperial panopticon slowly beaten the Filipino progressive move with a deadly mixture of firepower, surveillance, and incriminating details. Even after Washington freed its colony and gained international energy in 1945, it can interfere within the Philippines periodically for the subsequent half-century—using the rustic as a laboratory for counterinsurgency and rearming neighborhood safety forces for repression. In attempting to create a democracy within the Philippines, the us unleashed profoundly undemocratic forces that persist to the current day.
    yet protection suggestions bred within the tropical hothouse of colonial rule weren't contained, McCoy indicates, at this distant outer edge of yankee strength. Migrating homeward via either team of workers and guidelines, those techniques assisted in shaping a brand new federal safety equipment in the course of international struggle I. as soon as demonstrated below the pressures of wartime mobilization, this distinctively American method of public-private surveillance endured in a variety of varieties for the following fifty years, as an omnipresent, sub rosa matrix that honeycombed U.S. society with lively informers, secretive civilian enterprises, and executive counterintelligence enterprises. In each one succeeding international situation, this covert nexus accelerated its household operations, generating new contraventions of civil liberties—from the harassment of work activists and ethnic groups in the course of global warfare I, to the mass incarceration of eastern americans in the course of international conflict II, all of the technique to the key blacklisting of suspected communists throughout the chilly War.

“With a wide ranging sweep of archival learn, McCoy indicates how repressive strategies constructed within the colonial Philippines migrated again to the USA to be used opposed to humans of colour, extraterrestrial beings, and very any heterodox problem to American strength. This ebook proves Mark Twain’s adage that you simply can't have an empire out of the country and a republic at home.”—Bruce Cumings, college of Chicago

 “This ebook lays the Philippine physique politic at the exam desk to bare the ailment that lies within—crime, clandestine policing, and political scandal. yet McCoy additionally attracts the road from Manila to Baghdad, arguing that the seeds of arguable counterinsurgency strategies utilized in Iraq have been sown within the anti-guerrilla operations within the Philippines. His arguments are forceful.”—Sheila S. Coronel, Columbia University
“Conclusively, McCoy’s Policing America’s Empire is a magnificent old piece of analysis that appeals not just to Southeast Asianists but in addition to these attracted to interpreting the ancient embedding and institutional ontogenesis of post-colonial states’ police strength apparatuses and their it appears inherent propensity to enforce intolerant practices of surveillance and repression.”—Salvador Santino F. Regilme, Jr., Journal of present Southeast Asian Affairs
“McCoy’s extraordinary ebook . . . does justice either to its author’s deep wisdom of Philippine historical past in addition to to his infrequent services in unmasking the seamy undersides of kingdom power.”—POLAR: Political and criminal Anthropology Review
Winner, George McT. Kahin Prize, Southeast Asian Council of the organization for Asian Studies

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Extra info for Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State

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Nationalist agitation was contained through a suffocating surveillance. Labor agitation was crushed by arbitrary arrests and agent provocateur operations. Within a decade this total information regime had pacified the Philippines. S. information infrastructure. Yet the American experience was not altogether unique. With unchecked power over their colonial subjects, imperial regimes worldwide were conducting similar, albeit less successful experiments in social control. S. colonial police in the Philippines drew heavily on the structure and staff of the defeated Spanish imperial state.

Simply put, it has taken me half a lifetime to know what I know. Considering the role of police and crime in shaping the Philippine state has produced some unexpected insights. Through juxtaposition of the formal and informal, legal and illegal, the study of a seemingly small problem—policing in the twentieth-century Philippines—quickly grew into an exploration of larger issues. Arbitrary separations between colonizer and colonized, home and abroad, gritty crime scene details and abstract constitutional principles, dissolved, and there emerged a perspective that should encourage some revisions in the national narratives of the Philippines and the United States.

Special Forces have become a constant presence in the Islamic isles of the southern Philippines. S. global power. S. colonial legacy. By embedding a paramilitary apparatus inside the Philippine executive, the United States installed a point of entry for later intrusions into the internal affairs of a sovereign state. S. global order posed by communist guerillas, student demonstrators, or Islamic insurgents. S. influence goes beyond strengthening a bureaucratic apparatus of repression. S. advisers have fostered an extralegal dimension in Philippine security operations through the introduction of macabre psychological warfare tactics in the 1950s, training in sophisticated torture techniques during the 1970s, violent vigilante operations in the 1980s, and tacit approval of widespread extrajudicial killings since September 2001.

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